By Amit Acco, Partner | Updated 14 June, 2021
Ben Gurion International Airport is open since March 7. With over 4.9 million Israelis fully vaccinated, the number of daily coronavirus cases has gone down by 97 percent. Amid the coronavirus outbreak easing, health officials have warned that international travel could introduce dangerous new virus variants, and as a result, there are still restrictions upon entry of foreign nationals to Israel.
The following are the most current COVID – 19 travel advice for foreign nationals:
⛔ Coronavirus (COVID-19): red list travel ban countries
🆕 Entry into Israel of foreign nationals from the following countries is banned, unless special permission is provided in extraordinary cases by the exceptions committee: Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Argentina, and Russia.
✈ Flight Arrangements:
- Any foreign national seeking entry to Israel will have to provide a copy of medical health insurance, valid in Israel, that specifically includes coverage for COVID – 19.
- Before the flight to Israel: Any person arriving will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 72 hours prior to departure.
- Upon Entry to Israel: All incoming passengers must comply with COVID-19 testing requirements including those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus
📰 Entry Permit is required for any foreign national seeking travel to Israel:
- New Foreign experts’ entry for work: Following the recommendation of the relevant Ministry (Transportation, Energy, Health, Economy, etc.) and the issuance of the work permit, there is still a need to obtain an entry permit for the foreign expert from the Ministry of Interior (local office or work permit unit: depending on the type of visa).
- Re-entry to Israel: Regardless of the need to have a multiple entry visa, all foreign experts need to obtain an entry permit before each entry to Israel, even if they hold a multiple entry visa. KTA can be prepared & submit the application before departure from Israel at the Ministry of Interior.
- Business trips to Israel: Entry for business is limited to COVID 19 vaccinated travelers only. The application is to be submitted in Israel to the Ministry of Economics electronically. Upon approval that the travel is of extreme necessity, a subsequent application must be submitted to the Ministry of Interior.
- Inbound Group Tourism: A limited number of vaccinated tourists will be allowed to enter Israel in organized groups starting May 23. The groups will be heavily monitored during the visit to Israel.
- Individual Tourists: Currently not permitted. It is expected to be allowed in at a later stage.
- First-degree relatives in Israel: all non-citizens who are able to prove they have first-degree relatives in Israel will be allowed to travel to the country and can bring their spouses and children along, provided they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Babies under a year old will be exempt from this requirement
🆕 12 June 2021 update: Israel officials have indicated recently that a new pilot regulation will be published soon to allow ease entry procedures for foreign visitors who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus from the beginning of July 2021, allowing business people and regular tourists traveling to Israel, for the first time since the start of the pandemic. There was no explanation of the words “ease entry procedures”.
🏡 Isolation Requirements upon arrival, and how to shorten the Isolation for only 3 days from entry into Israel:
Israel Mandatory Isolation For Arrivals From COVID-19 “Hotspot Countries” (Both Israeli and non-Israeli): any person arriving from Ukraine, Ethiopia, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, or Turkey (foreign nationals: following extraordinary entry permit to Israel) must enter compulsory isolation upon entry to Israel, even if they have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. Argentina and Russia are added to this list of countries on May 31. The country list above (currently 9 countries) will be reviewed on a weekly basis in accordance with global COVID-19 data.
Vaccinated and recovering people who have been in one of the above countries for less than 12 hours as part of a flight connection without leaving the airport will not be required to enter isolation.
- Those who already got vaccination in Israel: A COVID –19 test is required upon entering Israel, however, if the test is negative, isolation will not be required.
- Those who were not vaccinated (including children living in Israel that cannot be vaccinated yet): Isolation requirements are expected to remain in place for travelers who have not been vaccinated. A COVID –19 test upon entering Israel is required, as well as home isolation. Plans are being put in place to require a deposit be made on a “tracking kit” (such as an electronic bracelet or SMS digital phone tracking software), to ensure that people isolate themselves at home. If no consent is given to the tracking kit, the person will be required to be isolated in a state-run isolation facility.
- Those who Vaccinated abroad: A COVID –19 test upon entering Israel is required, as well as home isolation. Upon receipt of a “Negative” COVID – 19 check at the airport, the individual can perform a serological test. The serological test can be made at the isolation place or the private authorized clinic. Upon receiving confirmation of immunity, the individual can apply for a waiver from isolation from the Ministry of Health.
The isolation is required for 14 days from arrival. The isolation period may be reduced to 10 days by showing negative results on two COVID-19 tests. The first test should be taken as soon as possible after arrival, and the second test on the 9th day.
✈ Departure from Israel
- Foreign nationals: No restrictions on departures.
- Israeli national: Travel to Hot Spot countries is not allowed unless approved by the Exemption Committee. The criteria for the Exceptions Committee, to obtain an exit permit to the above countries, are, among others:
- Departing for a humanitarian or essential need,
- Athletes (with the approval of the Director-General of the Ministry of Culture and Sports).
- Official emissaries of national institutions (with the approval of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption). Israeli citizens and residents returning to their permanent place of residence in these countries are required to declare this before the Exceptions Committee and attach supporting documents.
The information contained in this post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice.
The information is gathered from various public media sources at the courtesy of KTA to its own clients and website visitors. Due to the rapid, sometimes daily changes in policy, we urge any traveler to get updated at the official government websites prior to planning or taking any international travel to or from Israel.